Lee Davy brings you a full round up of week seven of the greatest footballing league in the world including a return to the top for Manchester United, a stay of execution for Brendan Rodgers, and much more.
England’s all-time top goalscorer ended an 11-game Premier League goal drought, dating back to April, when he scored a tap in either side of strikes by Memphis Depay and Juan Mata handing United a 3-0 win over Sunderland at Old Trafford.
I’ve been critical of United in the past few weeks, in particular their lack of penetration, but they are sticking it to me with three goals in each of their games against Liverpool, Southampton and now Sunderland. United’s victory means The Black Cats Cuddly Kittens are still rooted at the bottom after failing to win any of their first seven matches.
The Cuddly Kitten’s fiercest rivals Newcastle are the only other Premier League side searching for their first victory, and they came desperately close to ending that drought with a fine display at home to the champions Chelsea.
Steve McClaren’s side are used to trudging off the pitch under a chorus of boos, but they received a standing ovation in this one after marching down the tunnel, at half time, leading by a cracking goal from Ayoze Perez.
Jose Mourinho has never won at St James Park and that record looked almost certain to continue when Georginio Wijnaldum headed the Toon Army into a two goal lead in the 60th minute. Chelsea were looking toothless without Arsene Wenger’s best buddy Diego Costa, up front, but when Newcastle inevitably sat back to soak up the pressure the champions struck back.
Chelsea had three shots at goal in the second half, all three of them came from the substitutes, and two of them found the back of the net. Ramirez scoring the first with a cracking drive from the edge of the box, and Willian scoring the equalizer from a free kick in the 86th minute.
Whilst Chelsea will be grateful to have salvaged a point from this game, it was another half assed performance for a team that swept all before them last year. They are currently treading water in 15th place, and if you want to face Chelsea, now is the right time to do that.
Last week Man City lost their 100% winning record with defeat at home to West Ham, and that streak continues after a roasting at White Hart Lane. Mauricio Pochettino’s side sneak into the top five courtesy of a glut of goals from the various body parts belonging to Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld, Harry Kane and Eric Lamella. Kevin De Bruyne continued his run of three consecutive games with an opening goal that turned out to be a consolation goal for the Blues.
Much was said about the absence of Man City’s spine. Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany missed the game with injury, and by all accounts Yaya Toure missed the game despite being on the pitch for 90-minutes – if you get my drift. It was also a game to be forgotten from the usually sharp Sergio Aguero who missed an absolute sitter when it seemed harder to miss.
England manager Roy Hodgson was in the stand, and he would have been delighted to see Harry Kane end his goal drought. England’s wonder kid side footing the ball into the roof of the net in the 61st minute to bring a smile to the old man’s face.
Kane wasn’t the only English striker hitting the back of the net, and Spurs weren’t the only side in London smashing in goals for fun. Unbeaten Leicester City lost than run in horrific fashion against a highly tuned Arsenal side at the King Power Stadium.
I was dumbstruck when Roy Hodgson handed Jaime Vardy a cap, but he obviously saw something in him that I didn’t. Vardy hit a brace to take his tally to six, proving that he can score goals as well as run his socks off. The man who doesn’t like sushi is now the Premierships top goal scorer with six goals, one more than he scored in the entirety of last season.
Theo Walcott continued to give Hodgson something to think about by scoring a goal from a central striking position, and Alexis Sanchez chose this game as the one to break his goal scoring duck for the season by smashing three-passed young Schmeichel. It was the first Premier League hat trick for the Chilean striker, who becomes the first player to score hat tricks in the Spanish, Italian and English leagues.
Brendan Rodgers managed to keep Jürgen Klopp at bay for one more week after a Daniel Sturridge inspired Liverpool beat struggling Aston Villa at Anfield (what is Roy Hodgson going to do with all these England strikers!).
It was a game that contained some classic strikes. Both of Sturridge’s goals were of the highest quality, and Rudy Gestede’s bullet header in the 71st minute was Ruud Gullit like in it’s power and precision. Klopp has said that he will only take on the Liverpool job is they scrap their transfer committee. Talk like that can only mean one thing. It’s only a question of time before Rodgers is lining up for the soon to be vacant positions at Aston Villa, Newcastle and Sunderland.
One team that won’t be losing their manager anytime soon is West Ham. They remained third, for the second consecutive week, courtesy of an injury time equalizer by Cheikhou Kouyate. After the match, both managers seemed happy with the point, but after away victories at Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea, you can’t help but wonder if the Croatian manager will be a little gutted that he couldn’t beat the Canaries at home.
A fast paced finish with the rest of the games that didn’t provoke much discussion.
Southampton rebounded from their defeat at home to Man Utd with a home win against a Swansea City. Saints boss Ronald Koeman said he was happy with the 3-1 result, but he wasn’t happy with the performance. Swans boss Garry Monk would have gladly traded places. The Welsh team has failed to win in any of their September clashes, a sharp contrast with a five game August schedule without defeat.
Stoke grabbed a much needed 2-1 home victory over a Bournemouth side who lost in-form striker Callum Wilson to a knee injury. It was the only blight on Roy Hodgson’s England striker copybook. Eddie Howe will be hoping that it’s not as bad as it looks, as he is vital to Bournemouth’s future. Stoke grabbed the win thanks to another header from Mame Biram Diouf in the 83rd minute, less than 10-minutes after the seasiders had grabbed an equalizer.
Last but not least, and Crystal Palace ended Watford’s two game winning streak with victory at the Vicarage Road. Alan Pardew’s team is the only side in the Premier League yet to draw a game winning four and losing three. Their one-nil victory means they are currently sitting in sixth position. Watford are one of five teams sitting mid table with nine points.
Week 7 Results
Spurs 4 v1 Man City
Leicester 2 v 5 Arsenal
Liverpool 3 v 2 Aston Villa
West Ham 2 v 2 Norwich
Southampton 3 v 1 Swansea
Stoke 2 v 1 Bournemouth
Man United 3 v 0 Sunderland
Newcastle 2 v 2 Chelsea
Watford 0 v 1 Crystal Palace
West Brom v Everton (Mon 28, Sep)
Premier League Standings (After 7 Games)
1st. Man Utd – 16 pts.
2nd. Man City – 15 pts.
3rd. West Ham – 13 pts.
4th. Arsenal- 13 pts.
5th. Spurs – 12 pts.
6th. Crystal Palace – 12 pts.
7th. Leicester – 12 pts.
8th. Liverpool – 11 pts.
9th. Everton – 9 pts.
10th. Southampton – 9 pts.
11th. Swansea – 9 pts.
12th. Norwich – 9 pts.
13th. Watford – 9 pts.
14th. West Brom – 8 pts.
15th. Chelsea – 8 pts.
16th. Bournemouth – 7 pts.
17th. Stoke – 6 pts.
18th. Aston Villa – 4 pts.
19th. Newcastle – 3 pts.
20th. Sunderland – 2 pts.